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Proposal to Expand Barling Magna Primary Academy from 175 place primary school to 210 places (one form of entry), from September 2021.

expansion 1

Barling Magna Primary Academy has been in discussion with Essex County Council during the past few months, looking at the potential to expand the school in response to an increasing demand for primary school places in the planning area covering Barling and Great Wakering.  The Trustees see this as a positive opportunity for the school and is giving its support to the proposal but will not make a final decision on the expansion until your views are received and the consultation is complete.

The reason for the expansion is to meet the extra demand for school places in the Barling and Great Wakering area.  Projected pupil numbers, supplied by the Local Authority and detailed below, show a rise over the next few years and as such, these children need to be accommodated within their local schools.

Essex County Council monitors birth rates, new housing developments and patterns of parental preference across groups of schools.  This information is used to forecast pupil numbers and to ensure there are sufficient school places across the county.  It also engages closely with Rochford District Council to ensure that where significant additional housing is being planned but not confirmed, sufficient school places are secured where necessary.

It is known that significant numbers of new houses will continue to be built, and the predicted number of school places will increase accordingly.  Alongside future pressure on reception places there is already pressure on existing primary school year groups in the local schools, with several being full to their capacity.  This means that if families move into the area it is sometimes difficult to find a local school place for the children. Therefore, Barling Magna Primary Academy plans to provide for 35 extra primary places (5 per year group) in the expectation that they will be required.

Expansion 2

The following table illustrates the demand for Reception places in Barling and Great Wakering. Longer term forecasts indicate that there will be a sustained need for additional primary school places based on the housing that has already been approved, as demonstrated in Essex County Council’s 10-year Plan.  The number of children registered with a GP will continue to be monitored, as will the actual numbers of pupils in schools.

Year to be admitted to Reception

20/21

21/22

22/23

23/24

24/25

Total number of Reception places

85

85

85

85

85

Predicted demand for Reception places

88

99

93

97

99

Predicted surplus/deficit

-3

-14

-8

-12

-14

The proposal is to expand Barling Magna Primary Academy from a capacity of 175 places to a capacity of 210 places over a period of 7 years.  The school will admit 5 extra pupils in Foundation Stage every year and would grow organically until the school reaches its full capacity of 210 pupils. 

The Trustees believes there would be significant advantages to the expansion due to:

• a new teaching block consisting of a classroom including storage and cloaks, a specialist area for food preparation/science/tech, an SEN therapy room, enlarged staff room, group room and toilets

• seven new car parking spaces

• ECC being able to meet the increasing demands for pupil’s placements in primary schools in Barling and Great Wakering

Expansion 3

The admissions criteria and priority admission area for the school would not change as a result of the proposed expansion.

The Essex County Council has indicated that capital funding would be available to support the expansion of the school, subject to a final decision by the Trustees and the relevant governance process at ECC, so that it can provide the buildings required to accommodate the extra pupils.

The Trustees will not make a final decision on the expansion until the consultation is completed and the funding is confirmed.

The building project would be delivered by the school through Real8 Group and overseen by Essex County Council.  If we proceed with the expansion, there will be a public planning consultation where you will be able to view detailed designs for the building work and discuss these with the contractors who will be doing the work.

Expansion 4

Consultation

This consultation is for 4 weeks from 29th June. If you would like to make any comments about the proposal, please send a letter via the school office or email admin@barlingmagna.essex.sch.uk by 27th July.  A consultation meeting with Rhona Long, Essex County Council (School Organisation), Paul Calder & Michael Lacey from Real8 Group will take place on 6th July where drop in sessions by appointment only, with 10 minute slots allowing 2 members of the same household to attend together will be available. These will be held at the school, preferably outdoors if weather permits, or alternatively in the hall. Appointments will be available to book between 1:30 – 2:30pm and again between 6:00 – 7.30pm on that day.  Please contact the school office to book an appointment.

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